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Marvin Gaye’s family awarded $7.4 million for “Blurred Lines” copyright breach

Written by admin on March 11, 2015 – 8:38 pm -

Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams have been ordered to pay Marvin Gaye’s family $7.4 million for copying elements of Gaye’s 1977 song “Got to Give It Up” in their song “Blurred Lines”.

Gaye’s family will now ask the courts to prohibit sales of “Blurred Lines” until an agreement on future royalties has been established.

“Blurred Lines” was the biggest hit of 2013 in the US, topping the Billboard Hot 100 for 12 weeks.

Thicke has said in the past, though later denied, that it was a conscious decision to incorporate some of the groove of “Got to Give It Up” into “Blurred Lines”, but will now wish that the similarities had been less overt.

Pharrell Williams says that the song came from his own “heart, mind and soul” and that the verdict is a “horrible precedent for music and creativity going forward.”

The $7.4 million damages awarded are a record for such a copyright breach, exceeding the $5.4 million Michael Bolton and Sony were ordered to pay for infringing The Isley Brothers’ “Love is a Wonderful Thing”.

Here’s the two tracks.

In a similar ruling, Sam Smith and his co-writers were recently required to divide royalties with Tom Petty for the similarities between their song, “Stay With Me,” and Petty’s classic, “I Won’t Back Down”. Petty was awarded 12.5 per cent songwriting credit and royalties.

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